Because of its sulfurous reputation not many people come to Naples. I can rattle off a whole list of reasons why this fashion and style capital should draw your immediate attention. Starting with Marinella, the sunshine, and outstanding home cooking and you’ll find yourself on the next plane to the city under the volcano.
You may claim that you have better things to do than to fly down to Naples in order to buy ties. All the more reason to discuss gents neckwear with Maurizio Marinella. He is affable and his store is charming. If you need further incentive, there are the beautiful women. Think Sophia Loren. Every beautiful woman loves a well-dressed gent who recognizes that fashion means the right tie. It certainly adds panache to any suit. Call it the perfect choreography to good taste.
Marinella ties have become such a phenomenon, that more than one luxury group has proposed to buy this establishment. Fortunately, he has not succumbed. Berlutti and Moyat might be new editions to the “brand is mightier than the sword” way of branding, but Maurizio Marinella doesn’t believe this is the way forward.
He is a gentleman who knows that quality cannot be mass produced and prefers to maintain the highest standards. His shop sits in the Chaia district, which is the chicest neighborhood in the city. His grandfather opened this boutique in 1914. Now, you can’t beat that for genuine heritage.
“We grow up with the fear that we will be considered people who only have mandolins, make pizza and mozzarella”, states Maurizio. “But actually I, and many others like me, show that there is also a Naples that produces, that works, that gets up at six in the morning, and still manages to be successful on an international level.”
Unlike other manufacturers of ties, his are clearly in another league. The rich and the famous have all paid house calls: Bill Clinton, Luchino Visconti, Aristotle Onassis, Gabriele D’Annunzio, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, and Giovanni Agnelli.
His business is a lesson in sustainability. Call it “Small is Beautiful”. Why tamper with excellence? Many pundits have asked him why he doesn’t open a chain of boutiques to satisfy global demand.
“Because I am a craftsman and I wish to remain a craftsman”, replies Maurizio Marinella. “I am not interested in large numbers and I would rather keep the tradition alive and fruitful, together with the magic that accompanies it.”
Considering the price of a tie from Hermes, I wondered how much does a Marinella cost? The answer is surprising: “Between 80 and 90 euros”, he said. “Less than many ties produced industrially by some of the great names of Italian and French fashion.”
I wondered, is it possible to survive on just selling ties? The answer is a demonstrative “yes”. There’s an attitude you can count on. I won’t suggest that you throw out your current tie collection, but I would give serious consideration to giving them to charity and heading off to Naples. The firm also does some rather nice cuff links. Still need another reason to fly down to Naples? Capri is just a stone’s throw across the bay and is picture perfect.
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Article Title: Fashion Under The Volcano
Photographs: curated by ES
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Andrew Scharf is a regular contributor on style | design | culture | art | food |
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